Culture Week in Thailand
Learn more about Thailand, bond with fellow participants, and immerse yourself in the area and culture. This is your kick start into a new country and way of life! The Culture week is a must for you to truly indulge into your new surroundings. Through cooking and language lessons, visits to the most famous sights around Central Thailand as well as lesser-known attractions and meeting locals, you will surely be introduced to the country’s culture, traditions, history and lifestyle.
about the program
During the Culture week, you will learn about Thai culture, get an insight into the language and have a taste of what has made Thai cooking so famous around the world. You will visit Wat Phra Non Jaksi Worawihan temple (famous for containing one of the largest indoor reclining Buddha statues) the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, have monkeys jumping on your head in Lopburi and much more! Moreover, you will get to meet people, take a Thai cooking lesson, learn the basics of the language, and get a firsthand understanding of the Thai way of life.
The purpose of this program is to help you get a reasonable understanding of the manners, norms, and etiquette that is inherent in Thai society. This week is also perfect for you to get to know and bond with other new participants. It is great for those who will be spending a prolonged period in the country, but also for those who have little time and want to experience Thailand at its best. Its emphasis is on educational factors, such as the language, cooking, cultural and historical aspects of Thailand.
Schedule of the Program
After breakfast, we will have a group meeting which includes, registration, explanation of programs and changes, logistics, general information and health and safety. After that we will walk around Tha Kham village to get you familiarized with your new surroundings. We will then stop at the ATM, Bank, Pharmacy, Phone Shop, convenience stores and the local market then followed by lunch at our center.
In the afternoon, we will have a short drive to Singburi and find out about transportation methods to Bangkok. Then head over afterwards to Chai Saeng where you can buy essential supplies for the week such as temple clothing, Mosquito repellent, Sunscreen, Power adapters.
Next, we will pay a visit to Wat Phikun Thong, a buddhist temple where you will get a short introduction to Buddhist rituals.
Once back at the accommodation, you will get a Thai language lesson and you will also learn about the do’s and don’ts in Thailand. After dinner, you will be the special guests of a welcome party with local children performing a Thai traditional dance for us – they will expect you to join in with the dancing at some point! You will have the rest of the evening to engage in night activities or your own free time.
Start off the morning with a visit to Wat Muang in Ang Thong, which is home to the tallest Buddha statue in Thailand and the 9th in the world. Next we will drive to Banbang Sadet Court Doll Centre where you can see the famous world-class miniature dolls and even build your own!
After lunch, we will head to the Historic City of Ayutthaya, which was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. Once there, we will explore Ayutthaya Historical Park, which contains the ruins of the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam and is recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we will also visit Wat Mahathat (The temple of the Great Relic).
Next up we will Visit Wat SriSanphet & a local market close-by. This trip will be a while but on the way out you can buy souvenirs, drinks and any other refreshments you like.
Our final stop for the today will be a visit to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol. You can you walk up the Chedi for photos of the city or go to the top of the temple and drop a coin in the bucket for blessings and temple preservations. You will also have the chance to see the Reclining Buddha.
Once we return back to the accommodation, we will finish off the evening with a dinner!
We will start off the morning very early with a drive to Wat Phra Non Chaksi and meet up with the monks on their morning alms collection and walk through the village with the monks. We will then prepare food for the monks and then have breakfast afterwards.
After breakfast, you will have the chance to learn about authentic meditation from a local monk. You will also have the opportunity to engage in a Q & A with the monk. We will then walk around the Vihan to see the massive sleeping Buddha. After visiting the temple, you can buy coffee, soft drinks, ice-cream outside of the temple.
We will then drive back to the accommodation and if you are up for it, watch an interesting documentary about Buddhism. After lunch at our accommodation, we will drive to Singburi for your free time at a local swimming pool or a nice relaxing massage at Chai Saeng.
In the evening, we will have dinner at a BBQ restaurant (Thai style, of course!)
In the morning, we will visit an authentic community market in Lopburi where you will find performing arts, cultural activities and a pottery production center. we will also stop for lunch here.
After lunch, we will drive to Wat Phra Prang Sam Yot park and walk over to the old temple, where you can walk around and see all the monkeys. If you wish, peanuts can be bought for the monkeys for fead. We will then head back to our accommodation in Singburi, where we will freshen up and rest.
In the afternoon, you will engage in after school activities with the local children, assist with their homework, English and Maths at our accommodation.
After dinner at our accommodation, you will visit Top Plaza Mall where everyone will have 1 hour of free time in the mall or evening activities.
The morning will start off with a visit to Coconut Shell House. This local handicrafts workshop makes jewelry from coconut shells and is part of the Thailand’s OTOP program.
We will then head back to the accommodation for some traditional Thai cooking lessons. Make sure to pay close attention during the lessons because you will be eating your own cooked meal for lunch!
After lunch, we will visit the Royal Highness Queens Project in Nong Lad. Walk around the project site and see vegetation & rice fields, mushroom & fish farms and even water Buffaloes. Plenty of opportunities to stop and ask questions to the local farmers.
Once we leave the Queens project, we will go to Khai Bang Rachan Memorial Park – one of Thailand’s most historical site showcasing a great battle which took place over 250 years ago between the Burmese and Siamese people in old Siam!
We’ll then head back to the accommodation in Singburi where we will have dinner.
* This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
** Clothes that cover your shoulders and knee for visiting temples, schools and sacred sites.
accommodation & meals
You will be located in the outskirts of Singburi, an interesting town 142 km north of Bangkok. Singburi was founded under the reign of King Rama V through the consolidation of 3 small towns located on the bank of The Chao Phraya River. The three small towns, Sing Buri, In Buri and Phrom Buri, were then established as a single town on the west of the Chao Phraya River in 1895.
Your new home is set close to the village of Tha Kham, an extremely rural area that will give you the chance to experience the Thailand that very few get to see.
Accommodation & Food
About the Accommodation
Your new home will be one of our 3 ‘Eco Houses’ near Singburi, central Thailand: Lemon House, Twin House and Brown House. They are all located riverside (River Noi – Little River) in the village of Tha Kham and depending on which house you are staying at, is about 8-15 km from Singburi (10-15 minutes by car). The 3 houses sleep from 30 to 72 people.
All houses have a communal area where you can eat, relax, meet fellow participants or use the free Wifi.
Although not directly on site, there are laundry facilities offered by locals which many of our participants take advantage of (this will probably cost you 5฿ per item, otherwise you can easily wash your clothes by hand.)
For participants who desire more comfort and privacy, families, couples and more mature participants, we recommend upgrading to a comfort room. These rooms have more amenities, are uniquely designed and are located apart from the two standard participant residences, which means it is noticeably quieter. Contact us for prices and availability to book this.
Important: A security cash deposit of 500THB is required for the key to your room. It is payable upon arrival in cash and will be returned when the key is given back at the end of your stay.
No alcohol is permitted in any of our accommodations, but we are located within walking distance of a local shop and there is even a makeshift bar provided by the friendly locals in front of the accommodation.
Food will be simple homestyle meals prepared by locals, which are typical to the region, based on whatever fresh fruits and vegetables are in season at the time. You can expect lots of rice and noodles, vegetables, and occasionally some meat will be provided as well.
While we do our best to accommodate you, what we provide for most meals is local cuisine. If you are a picky eater, have dietary restrictions, or if you think that you will not be satisfied with the local dishes provided, you might want to consider supplementing our menu with your own western type foods and snacks that are more to your liking. Weekly trips to the supermarket in Singburi are provided from our accommodation and you can use our bikes to ride to a few convenience stores on other days.
Please keep in mind that refrigerator space is limited and to prevent insect infestation open food items are not allowed in the rooms.
There are ATMs and shops in the local village which, depending on the accommodation you will be staying at, is located between 5 minutes by bicycle to 20 minutes by foot.
There are restaurants and small local stores within walking distance of each of the accommodations.
Equally, Singburi has plenty to offer and there will be trips throughout the week into this city where you can find shopping malls, markets, restaurants and even a swimming pool!
On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day, to familiarize you with the surroundings as well as local culture. Your program will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.
Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
Tour around the compound and local area/village of Thachang; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
Visit Wat Phikun Thong
Thai Do’s and Don’ts, Thai Culture Lessons and Thai Language Lessons.
Head to the centre of Singburi town for some essential shopping.
Participate in a Welcome dance performance
Activities & Events
Visit the night market in Tha Kham. Taste all types of Thai food, stock up on inexpensive clothing or just soak in the atmosphere of this small town!
This is free time for most participants and we offer a trip into Singburi. You can choose to use the swimming pool, go for a Thai massage or take advantage of a trip to a shopping centre.
You will have the option to attend a Thai BBQ at a local restaurant. This is a fantastic opportunity to socialise with all the other participants, eat great food and enjoy some music.
There is a trip to a shopping mall (including a large Tesco Lotus), where you can buy any essentials, snacks, western food (pizza shops, KFC, ice cream parlour, coffee shops etc)
Sights & Surroundings
Locally, Singburi itself has plenty to offer in terms of sites and attractions, ranging from its many Buddhist temples. There is also a swimming pool, two shopping centres and many markets.
You can also choose to travel to Bangkok during weekends. It takes 2.5 – 3 hours either by minivan or bus from Singburi . We provide detailed information about this each week.
“My experience with GapXperience was perfect. I really enjoyed sharing everyday’s life of the children. All of them were so cute and so nice. The staff were really nice and friendly. It was an amazing experience, I recommend it.”
“It was an amazing experience. I’ve learned a lot and it really opened my eyes. The children were so beautiful and cute. The staff at the orphanage were very nice. It was the best experience of my life.”
“Very well organized and made sure we felt at home straightaway. The program was varied and interesting, we learnt a lot. Our coordinator made the whole program very easy. Contact was always available if needed and they went out of their way to help. Definitely going to recommend to others. Absolutely brilliant!”
“The program was top notch from start to finish. I could not have been more impressed by the quality of treatment I received and the support from GapXperience as well as the accommodations. This program was amazing!”
“The program was well run. Our coordinator was a dream. She is the warmest and most caring person I met in Thailand. All the volunteers in the group simply loved her. I think GapXperience has great volunteer opportunities.”
“We are extremely privileged to have been able to spend time with the elephants all and hopefully made a positive impact in their lives. Being able to bathe, feed and care for the elephants is such a majestic experience. We would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat!”
How to Book your Program
Participants are encouraged to submit their applications as far in advance as possible as places on the program are limited. You can apply up to 1 month before your start date. Apply today and get ready for one of the most amazing experiences of your life!
Fill out the Application Form. We will process your application and let you know if your application was successful within 24 hours.
Pay your deposit to reserve you place in the program. You can pay the deposit in these different currencies: £145, US$175 or €150.
Pay the remaining fees, minus the deposit which you already paid, six weeks before your start date of your program.